02:34 GMT +320 November 2019
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    Refugees and migrants including children who left the Chios registration camp, shout slogans and hold placards reading 'No Turkey during a protest on April 3, 2016 as they camp out in the port of Chios.

    Activists Try to Prevent Deportation of Refugees From Greece to Turkey

    © AFP 2019 / Louisa Gouliamaki
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    A group of pro-refugee activists on Friday tried to prevent the resumption of the migrant relocation process from the Greek islands to Turkey under the Brussels-Ankara deal, local media reported.

    ATHENS (Sputnik) — On Monday, the Brussels-Ankara exchange deal came into force and the parties to the agreement had already sent the first groups of migrants from Greece to Turkey and refugees from Turkey to the European Union. However, the process was suspended on Tuesday due to the red tape.

    According to the Greek AlphaTV broadcaster, a group of three activists was swimming around the vessels in the Lesbos port to prevent a ship with undocumented migrants from setting off for Turkey.

    The broadcaster added that the activists had been detained and the vessel with 45 migrants succeeded to leave the port, while boats with additional 100 migrants were expected to set off later in the day.

    Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their crisis-torn countries of origin in the Middle East and North Africa.

    In late March, Ankara and Brussels reached a deal to put an end to the so-called Balkan route used by migrants to travel through Greece and Macedonia to wealthy EU states. Under the deal, Turkey pledged to take back all illegal migrants who arrive in the European Union through its border, sending in exchange legal Syrian refugees to the bloc on a one-for-one basis.


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    European Union, relocation, migrants, Greece, Turkey
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